Bipartisan Group of Senators Questions Shein CEO on Forced Labor
Two Democrats and a Republican are asking the CEO of Shein, a fast-fashion powerhouse, about its use of de minimis and its purchases of Xinjiang cotton. All products made in Xinjiang are barred from entry to the U.S., unless importers can prove they were not made with forced labor, but small packages imported directly by consumers escape CBP scrutiny.
Sens. Bill Cassidy, R-La.; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.; and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., wrote a letter to Shein CEO Chris Xu in Singapore, noting that Bloomberg did testing of the company's garments and found cotton grown in Xinjiang in their goods (see 2211210071). They asked for answers within 30 days, to assist in Congress' oversight of the ban on importing goods made with forced labor, and of the de minimis provision.
The letter released publicly Feb. 9 included the questions:
Cassidy has proposed legislation that would curtail the generous de minimis threshold in the U.S. (see 2301130042).
In the previous Congress, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., then the trade subcommittee chairman on the Ways and Means Committee, introduced a bill that would end Chinese shipments from de minimis eligibility (see 2203100041). Blumenauer has said 83% of de minimis shipments are from China.